Thursday, May 17, 2012

Somewhat Related to Willa Cather

We aren't descended from a common ancestor, so we aren't exactly related. However, Willa Cather (born Wilella Cather) had an uncle, Dr. Isaiah Dorsey Smith who married a Lockhart. Elizabeth Ann Lockhart, his wife, was a daughter of Elizabeth Caroline Triplett and Brigadier General Josiah Lockhart, who are my 4th great-grandparents.

Also, Willa Cather's family moved to Nebraska when she was a young girl (she had been born and grown up in the Back Creek part of Frederick County, Virginia, where my Lockhart and Triplett ancestors were from). This was after their barn burned down. Willa's aunt, Elizabeth Lockhart Smith, had a brother, James Madison Lockhart, known as Nebraska Jim. He was known as Nebraska Jim because he had gone west to Nebraska, where his wife Mahala Oates Lockhart died, but some of his descendants still live in that part of the country. He married his second wife Martha Ellen Orndorff about 1880, possibly in Webster, Nebraska (Mahala is buried in Plainfield Cemetery, Red Cloud, Webster County, Nebraska).

Willa Cather's mother Emily Ann Smith Cather, also died in Red Cloud, Nebraska.

It makes me more curious about her books, knowing that she wrote a book that described the Back Creek area of Virginia and others which focus more on life on the prairie, now that I realize she grew up in the same place some of my ancestors lived.

But we're only 'connected' I suppose, and not technically related.

1 comment:

  1. Finely found your blog! :)

    Info on Mahala...buried Plainview Cemetery Bladen Webster County Nebraska, USA, see Find A Grave Memorial# 45356806 that has a photo of her gravestone. THIS IS A FABULOUS SITE! Nae X

    Also found this on Emily Smith http://cather.unl.edu/letters.html?_person=Cather%2C%20Emily%20Ann%20Caroline%20Smith

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